Last summer, marketing reps from all the major farm equipment brands invited members of the farm media to events in the U.S. to see — and in some cases try — newly introduced equipment, including hay tools and tractors. Much of the focus of last year’s new machine introductions were designed to appeal to livestock producers.
In Texas, New Holland showed off its all-new 560 Roll-Belt round baler, which makes it possible to put up much better quality feed, said Abe Hughes II, vice-president of sales and marketing.
“We’ve become much more sophisticated in making hay,” said Hughes. “Oftentimes, I think, people just roll the dice and bale. There’s really a science to it.”
The 560 round baler gets a wider and sturdier pickup, and an entirely new rotating mechanism. A row of sickle knives also cuts the bale’s interior hay into seven-inch lengths. Marketing reps cited a Penn State University study that this helps to reduce waste and improve an animal’s feed intake.
The 560 is also ISOBUS compatible, so if your tractor is equipped with an ISOBUS terminal you won’t need an additional monitor in the cab.
NH was also eager to show off new centre-pivot Discbines, the 314 and 316, and the self-propelled Speedrower, available in three models, which can be equipped with a mower-conditioner header. The Speedrower is capable of an impressive 24 m.p.h. (38 km/h) on the road. That, according to the company, makes it the fastest swather on the market.
- From the Country Guide website: Get ready to “make hay” with new offerings of mowers and windrowers
Back north in Denver, NH’s sister company Case IH showed off its haying equipment. The new RB565 round baler, DC133 and 163 discbines, and WD3 windrower are all Case IH versions of the New Holland models just mentioned.
But the other red brand did have its own new Farmall Series utility tractors to introduce.
“We’ve talked about CVT transmissions in the Magnums, today we’re bringing them to you in a compact tractor,” said Case IH’s Zach Hettrick.
The new Farmalls are also among the lowest horsepower models from any brand to be available with factory-installed rear duals.
In Ohio, market leader John Deere pulled the wraps off its new windrower, the W235. Available in two configurations, small grains and hay models, the windrower is compatible with two different mower-conditioner heads.
The updated hydraulic steering system on the W235 better accommodates AutoTrac guidance than the mechanical system on previous models.
“The windrower steers a lot differently than other vehicles (tractors and combines), so it’s a bit of a challenge to deliver accuracy with AutoTrac,” said James Petersen, senior marketing manager for windrowers. “We’ve now (updated the) hydraulic system which is much more accurate (than on previous models). We’re now seeing speeds up to 17 m.p.h. This thing is all new from the ground up.”
The W235 boasts 35 more horsepower than Deere’s previous flagship model. And it has a new drive system that keeps even power flowing to the header in tough conditions, which adjusts to keep the header up to speed when the engine starts to lug.
At its harvesting and haying equipment assembly plant in Hesston, Kansas, AGCO showed members of the media through its brand new $46-million painting facility, which is designed to put a much higher-quality finish on products rolling out the factory door, including its large square balers that wear the Challenger and Hesston by Massey Ferguson brands.
Individual components pass through a series of 17 separate dip tanks to clean and prep them for final colour coats. And more components will get a durable powder coating than before.
“We can say this paint shop is the most modern in all of the United States. And we’re proud of that,” said Hans-Bernd Veltmaat, a senior AGCO vice-president. “With this paint centre we are in the same league as Daimler, BMW, Lexus and so on.”